Today in History:

111 Series I Volume XLI-II Serial 84 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part II


into the country from Texas who would represent themselves to be Union refugees, and I have therefore to be greatly on my guard against imposition.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Santa Fe., N. Mex., July 10, 1864.

Brigadier General LORENZO THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: The inevitable Judge Joseph G. Knapp, who has written so many letters to the War Department and so many scurrilous articles for the press against the officers serving in this department, claiming that New Mexico is under a military despotism, and that because i have established for the safety of the country against spies and traitors a system of passport which has long since been approved by the general-in-chief, I have subverted the liberties of the people, and other claptrap of this sort. He came here last week to sit as an associate justice on the supreme bench. After the court was organized and had transacted some business which he, Knapp, wanted to have done, he got up and said he would do no more business until my order with reference to passports was rescinded unconditionally; and so the court stopped. The judge would not take a passport for Melissa, 300 miles off, but started without one. As he might have known before he left, he was stopped at the first military post he came to. He then returned to this city and says, so I understand, that he will proceed to Washington by the mail that taken this letter and have me ousted from my command. The reason why Knapp would not sit as a member of the supreme court is well set forth in a letter from the attorney-general of the Territory to Attorney-General Bates. That letter is dated to-day and goes on in this mail. I have been permitted to make the following extracts from it:

The conduct of Judge Knapp during the session of the supreme court in this city, commenced on the 4th of July last, confirms this my opinion. He refused to transact any business in said court for reasons unconnected with and foreign to the duties of that tribunal, viz, military interference with him and the public in their travels in New Mexico. He knew that a writ of error had been sued out, and that those proceedings would have to pass a review; hence he made his quarrels with the military an excuse to break up the court.

I have written a letter to Chief Justice Benedict, to the attorney-general, and to all the leading members of the bar, to say whether I have ever interfered with the courts, and if on the contrary I have not given them every help in my power. You will find herewith inclosed the originals of their replies, which go to sustain me throughout. It is believed here by many, and seriously, that Knapp is a compound of a knave and a fool, or else that he is crazy. He has the unmitigated contempt of every respectable man in the country. I know that his being an abuser of myself forbids my saying this, but it is the truth, as Judge Watts, Honorable Francisco Perea, and Major McFerran, all now in Washington, can tell you.